Hanwha Systems to develop low-orbit satellite communication technology for military use

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : March 28, 2023, 17:13 Updated : February 25, 2024, 01:40

[Courtesy of Hanwha Systems]

SEOUL -- Hanwha Systems, a key defense contractor involved in the development of antennas and other crucial equipment in South Korea, will nurture low-orbit satellite communication technology targeting the overseas military communications market. The core technology of low-orbit satellite communication will be used in the defense sector, as seen in Russia-Ukraine battlefields where troops relied on low-orbit satellite communication after ground networks were destroyed.
Low-orbit satellite communication can reinforce ground networks to a considerable level with advantages such as high transmission capacity, speed, and short latency. South Korea's science ministry has proposed an injection of some 590 billion won ($454 million) from 2024 to 2031 to develop low-orbit satellite communication technology and lay the groundwork for domestic companies to participate in an international supply chain.
"We will complete the manufacture of unmanned prototypes for urban air mobility (UAM) for the first time in South Korea in 2023, and try to make a foray into the domestic and foreign military tactical Internet markets through low-orbit communication satellites," Hanwha Systems CEO Eoh Seong-cheol said at a stockholder’s meeting held on March 27.
"The UAE president has also recently shown interest in our defense system at an international exhibition," Eoh said, adding that the company aims to expand the export market through the satellite-based communication system for military use and tactical information and communication system.
In 2022, exports of South Korea's defense equipment reached an all-time high of $17 billion. In October 2022, the first batch of South Korean tanks and self-propelled howitzers was rolled out for delivery to Poland. It was just two months after the European country concluded an arms deal on the quick introduction of foreign weapons to fill up equipment shortages caused by the support of crucial munitions to Ukraine. Poland has signed basic deals with South Korea to acquire 48 FA-50 light attack fighters, more than 900 K2 battle tanks and K9s.
Various domestic companies are striving to secure a foothold in the foreign defense market. Hyundai Engineering and Construction (Hyundai E&C), a major builder, partnered with domestic aircraft maker Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), to establish a cooperative system in overseas markets. While Hyundai E&C has a number of airports and airfields in South Korea and abroad, KAI specializes in military aircraft. The aircraft maker is in charge of the development and production of KF-21, a homemade fighter jet that successfully carried out its first armament tests on March 28.  
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